Runaway Truck Causes Intermittent Lane Closures, No Injuries

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The runaway truck at the arrester bed, located prior to the Kanan Dume Road and Pacific Coast Highway intersection

Motorists may have noticed lane closures on Kanan Dume Road on Monday, Oct. 8. The closures were due to a runaway truck; fortunately, the driver was able to pull into the arrester bed at the intersection of Kanan and Pacific Coast Highway.

The big rig truck was carrying a load of gravel, according to Malibu resident Jim Hull. The driver was going down Kanan when she lost control.

Other residents on social media also noted the incident. One woman wrote: “I drove past right after it happened not knowing exactly what happened except the air coming into my open window was thick with gravel dust and the smell of burning tires! That gravel escape lane is an absolute life saver!”

The “gravel escape lane”—also known as an arrester bed—was part of the City of Malibu’s PCH/Kanan Dume Intersection & Arrester Bed Improvements Project, which completed construction in 2014. Kanan Dume Road is notoriously dangerous for vehicles above a certain weight because of its steepness, especially going toward PCH. The arrester bed was built prior to city incorporation in the ‘90s, and was later renovated as previously stated.

No collisions or injuries caused by the runaway truck were reported. City of Malibu maintenance crews cleaned up debris from the truck throughout the day. 

While signs are in place near the steep decline, residents like Hull believe signs just past the tunnel after exiting the Ventura Freeway should be posted to warn truck drivers to turn around before it is too late to do so.